Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Fear Has Held Me Prisoner

I had an a-ha, lightbulb moment last night, and it's one I have had several times before, but apparently a lesson I need to keep learning. Let me start at the beginning, or at least the beginning of my growth this time.

The last month I have started to get depressed. I have felt depressed before but have always been able to push through it fairly quickly. This time it was different. I haven't just "felt" depressed, I have been depressed. To me there is a subtle difference in that "feeling" depressed is just that, a feeling, and being depressed is something that feels like it is a permanent part of me. I have never felt that before now. The last two weeks it has been so bad that I haven't wanted to get out of bed and yet I have struggled to go to sleep at night, I haven't cared if my kids go to school, I haven't cooked dinner in three weeks, at least, I haven't nourished my body but have gorged on junk, there have been days that I have cried on and off all day. I have been so hopeless that I had given up, just done what had to be done and escaped through social media, books, shopping and sleep. It felt like I was in a pit of mud and that I just wanted to give up and stay there. I didn't care anymore if I got out of the mud, or if it just swallowed me whole. I have been on a medication for anxiety that also helps with depression for three or four years now and it has helped dramatically, it hasn't felt like it was helping the last 3 weeks or so though, so I talked to my doctor and asked her to increase my dose. I've been taking the increased dose for about a week now with slight improvement. I hesitate sometimes to mention that part because there is such a stigma attached to taking medication for depression and anxiety, but it's my reality and so I am owning it.

Last night as I knelt in prayer I realized how much fear I was holding on to. I have been afraid that B. won't work hard and find recovery and therefore my marriage will be over. I have been afraid that our finances will never be stable. I have let fear tell me that I am never going to be healthy and active. I have been afraid that my daughter will be unhappy as she leaves for college next fall. I have been afraid that she has been holding in her emotions and not dealing with them. I have been afraid that the world is going to chew up and spit out my tenderhearted son. I have also been afraid that he will become an addict too. I have been afraid of negative and critical comments from others. These fears have held me prisoner in my mind. They have consumed me. They have occupied so much space that I became hopeless and felt out of control.

As I knelt there I surrendered those fears as much as I was capable of. As I handed them over to Heavenly Father knowing that Christ has already suffered them for me, I felt a loosening before I even finished my prayer. It was as if there has been a band constricting my heart and as I released my fears to my Father in Heaven that band released and I could breathe and feel hope again. I know the process of surrender works. I know that holding on to fear is toxic for me and my recovery. I know that I can find peace through surrender. I haven't been practicing it and therefore I had fallen in the mire and couldn't get out. I can't ever get out on my own. I need the hand of a loving Savior to help me out. He sacrificed His life for me (and for each of you) so that I don't have to suffer these fears if I will turn them over to Him. I am grateful for a loving God who has made a plan for happiness. I wish that I didn't have to relearn things that I know and have practiced. I am grateful that I was reminded to surrender my fears last night. I feel more hope and less fear than I have felt in weeks. It's not a evangelical on fire type of miracle, but a subtle change of heart kind of miracle. It still feels like a miracle to me.

More hopeful,



  1. I can relate. Don't feel bad about being on medication. I took antidepressants for a few years but I noticed that I felt numb to all feelings and since my circumstances changed I thought maybe it wasn't what I needed anymore so I got off of them. Sometimes we need a little more than what our body will give us. Sometimes we only need them for a while and sometimes forever, but if they improve your life whose to judge you for that!

    1. Thank you so much! I actually don't feel bad because they really have helped, especially with my anxiety. I just struggle sometimes with fear of being judged, and I am really working to fight that.